About Gary Hohne

Gary Hohne is President & CEO of Hohne Pools, a Maryland pool company.

How to Prepare a Pool for Summer Storms

It’s been a rainy spring in Baltimore, and with summer storm season coming, many pool owners are curious how to prepare a pool for summer storms. Rainwater itself doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but flooding, wind, debris, and falling trees all pose risks to swimming pools. Here are four tips for storm-proofing your pool this summer.

Pool after a storm rolls through

Source: Uploaded by user via Lex on Pinterest

1. Don’t Drain It

Believe it or not, the water in your inground swimming pool actually protects the finish from damage caused by flying debris. Moreover, most pools have built-in overflows that drain excess water, preventing a flood from occurring in case of heavy rain. Although this should give you plenty of backup, you can slightly lower your water level by no more than two feet to be sure. Any more could increase hydrostatic pressure, causing your pool to actually dislocate from the ground costing thousands in pool repair.

2. Bring Outdoor Hazards Inside

They say the best cure is prevention, so save yourself some time and money in the post-storm cleanup process by limiting potential hazards. Before the storm, stow all outdoor furniture, grills, pool toys, and other loose items in a storage shed or inside the house. Heavier items should be fully covered and tied down whenever possible.

3. Turn Off the Power

After you’ve gathered up plenty of candles and flashlights for backup in case of an indoor power loss, be sure to protect the outdoor pool area from dangerous power losses as well. Luckily, Maryland ranks pretty low in total energy consumed per capita (256 Btu in 2010), but there’s always something more homeowners can be doing. Turn off the circuit breaker powering the pool heater and lighting, remove the motor, and disconnect propane tanks, electrical systems, and gas systems. Make sure to have a generator on hand in case of emergencies after the storm.

4. Trim Your Trees

Again, prevention is key to avoiding disaster. So if you’ve got some long-overdue pruning to do, right before a big storm is the perfect time to finally get it over with. Trim shrubs and small branches on your own, but make sure to contact the pros for more complicated limb removals.

This time last year, a destructive derecho caused $19 million in damage and massive power outages for the state of Maryland, and this year we can’t take any chances. You might not be able to control the weather, but these simple precautions to prepare your pool for summer storms can keep your pool and your home safe.

Check out our “Pool Maintenance” page for more tips on how to prepare a pool for summer.

[Infographic] Get Serious About Swimming Pool Safety

Opening a swimming pool is a rite of summer. Nothing signals the arrival of warm weather like removing the pool cover and getting your swimming pool ready for a summer of fun, exercise, and entertaining guests.

And nothing ruins the joy of swimming like tragedy on the water. Hohne Pools strongly encourages pool owners, swimmers, and non-swimmers to practice pool safety.

Drowning is a serious matter. This infographic from LifeguardHub.com reveals some sobering facts about drowning: About 10 people drown every day in the United States. Drowning is far too common among children. Men are 3x as likely as women to drown. In many cases, alcohol is a factor in drowning deaths.

Proper pool safety begins with responsibility. Let’s Get Serious about safe swimming.

Drowning Facts

Who Swims Faster: Michael Phelps or an Indo-Pacific Sailfish?

Memorial Day means its time to open your swimming pool! With swimming season around the corner, we thought we’d share this fun infographic from ZoologyDegreeOnline.com about two fast swimmers: Michael Phelps and the Indo-Pacific Sailfish.

Which is faster? Michael Phelps is fast, but his record time of 49.82 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly (4.49 mph) is no match for the sailfish, which reaches speeds close to 70 miles per hour.

Speaking of fast, the fastest way to open your pool for summer is to call Hohne Pools. We’ll summerize your swimming pool, perform cleaning and pool maintenance, and get you ready to enjoy the pool season. Visit our swimming pool maintenance page for Gold Medal service.

Pool Opening Checklist

Pool Opening Checklist

May is pool opening month for Maryland pool owners. Many homeowners circle Memorial Day weekend on their calendar as their pool opening date.

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, this pool opening checklist from Hohne Pools will help you open your pool after winter.

Not everybody’s a DIY type, so if you need a pool opening service in Baltimore and surrounding counties, Hohne Pools can help. We provide pool opening services as well as on-going pool maintenance package to keep your pool clean and in shape throughout the summer.

Remove leaves, debris & water from the pool cover before removing cover. Remove the pool cover.
Check your pool liner for rips and tears. Make vinyl pool liner repairs, if necessary.
Brush and vacuum the pool liner. Empty debris from skimmer baskets.
Bring a quart of pool water to Hohne Pools for a complete water analysis. Speak with a Hohne representative about balancing pool chemicals.
Remove all plugs from pool suction lines and return lines.
Check the condition of pumps and filters. Replace pool filters, if necessary.
Hook up pump, filter and other pool equipment.
Re-attach deck equipment such as pool ladders, diving boards, etc.
Fill the pool to restore the water level to normal. Start the pump.
Run the pool pump & filter system for 24 hours. If your pool water is not clear after 24 hours, contact Hohne Pools.
Use an automatic pool cleaner or pool cleaning equipment to remove dirt and debris as needed.
Schedule a monthly pool maintenance contract.

DIY Pool Renovations: Money-Saver or Disaster Waiting to Happen?

With summer swimming season just around the corner, the Weekend Warrior in you may be eyeing your aging swimming pool and contemplating a do-it-yourself pool renovation. Before the wheels start turning too fast, consider whether a DIY pool renovation is a project too big to tackle.

Pool Renovation Is More Work Than You Think

Think a pool renovation is a few simple steps? Think again. Here’s just a glimpse at what’s involved:

  • Removing old tile and coping
  • Removing old plaster
  • Removing old tile nosing around the edges
  • Acid-washing the old plaster surface to remove algae and stains
  • Researching, ordering and hauling project materials to your home
  • Constructing scaffolds to hold concrete and marble slabs installed on vertical walls
  • Cutting and setting concrete and marble slabs
  • Grouting the gaps between slabs and tiles
  • Installing scaffolds to hold new tile in place while it sets
  • Mixing, transporting, troweling, finishing, and polishing pool plaster
  • Measuring, cutting, setting and beveling tiles
  • And on, and on, and on…

That’s just the beginning. There are dozens of other tasks involved in a pool renovation – too many to list here. Kinda makes a DIY pool renovation sound like a ton of work, doesn’t it?

Do You Have Pool Renovation Tools?

Unless you’re moonlighting as a pool contractor, you probably don’t have the tools you’ll need for a pool renovation. A typical renovation might require a concrete mixer, diamond tile saw, industrial-strength air compressor, pool trowels, pneumatic chisel, pneumatic angle grinder, diamond polishing disks and more.

Sure, you could rent some of these tools at Home Depot or Lowe’s, but that’ll get costly quick. Plus, you’ll be hauling heavy equipment back and forth – that takes time, gas, and a big truck. And you may not even find all the pool renovation equipment you’ll need.

Are You Prepared for a DIY Pool Renovation Mistake?

Even a “professional” pool contractor can make mistakes when renovating a pool. Inexperienced, sloppy, or low-cost pool contractors can botch a pool renovation by cutting corners, adhering to poor quality standards, or just plain screwing up.

So imagine the perils that await a newbie DIYer. You could apply the plaster too thin, measure pool tile incorrectly, or fail to let grout set. You could buy the wrong size pool liner, incorrectly wire the electrical hook-up, or fail to create proper drainage. The risk of potential DIY pool renovation disasters is endless.

Save Time, Save Money, Save the Hassle…Hire a Professional

If you’re trying to save a few thousand dollars by doing a pool renovation yourself, you’ll probably cost yourself more money in the long run. It’s that simple.

Don’t put your pool – and your budget – at risk; hire a professional pool contractor. Hohne Pools is a Maryland pool renovation company and provides free estimates — call us before you embark on a project too big to handle!